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Cogender (also spelled "co-gender", with adjectival form "co-gendered") is a term customarily applied by anthropologists.[1]


In Chile, among the Mapuche in La Araucanía, in addition to heterosexual female "machi" shamanesses, there are homosexual male "machi weye" shamans, who wear female clothing.[2] These machi weye were first described in Spanish in a chronicle of 1673 A.D.[3] Among the Mapuche, "the spirits are interested in machi's gendered discourses and performances, not in the sex under the machi's clothes."[4] In attracting the filew (possessing-spirit), "Both male and female machi become spiritual brides who seduce and call their filew -- at once husband and master -- to possess their heads ... . ... The ritual transvestism of male machi ... draws attention to the relational gender categories of spirit husband and machi wife as a couple (kurewen)."[5] (In ISKCON—the International Society for Kṛṣṇa Consciousness—male premin-devotees are likewise regarded as quasi-female "wives" of the god Kṛṣṇa.) As concerning "co-gendered identities"[6] of "machi as co-gender specialists",[7] it has been speculated that "female berdaches" may have formerly existed among the Mapuche.[8]


Among the Saʼadan (eastern Toraja) in the island of Sulawesi (Celebes), Indonesia, there are homosexual male toburake tambolang shamans; although among their neighbors the Mamasa (western Toraja) there are instead only heterosexual female toburake shamanesses.[9] Among the Iban of Sarawak (in the island of Borneo, Indonesia), there are homosexual male shamans.


  1. ^ e.g. Walter & Fridman, 2004. p. 134
  2. ^ Bacigalupo, 2007. pp. 111-114
  3. ^ Francisco Núñez de Pineda y Bascuñán : Cautiverio felíz y razón de las guerras dilatadas de Chile. Santiago : Imprenta el Ferrocarril, 1863.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Bacigalupo, 2007. p. 87
  6. ^ Bacigalupo, 2007. pp. 131-133
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bacigalupo, 2007. p. 268, n. 5:18
  9. ^ VERHANDLINGEN VAN HET KONINKLIJK INSTITUUT VOOR TAAL-, LAND- EN VOLKENKUNDE, 229 = Kees Buijs : Powers of Blessing from the Wilderness and from Heaven. KITLV Pr, Leiden, 2006. p. 140


Walter, Mariko Namba; Fridman, Eva Jane Neumann (2004). Shamanism : an Encyclopedia of World Beliefs, Practices, and Culture. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-645-8. 
Bacigalupo, Ana Mariella (2007). Shamans of the Foye Tree. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-8240-9306-2.